On February 19 this writer attended a meeting at Parsippany Town Hall to listen to the introduction of our new budget and to listen to the discussion on 1515 Route Ten and the plans for it.
Our new Business Administrator Keith Kazmark, also the Mayor of Woodland Park, a community five times smaller than Parsippany, started the meeting with a slide show presentation, with the usual slides, showing this and showing that, telling us that “I have worked with the instructions that the Mayor has given me that not one person who works for the town will lose their job!”
He went on to say that starting with the Police Department which will receive a 7% salary increase, plus any cost of living increase, to the white collar workers who will receive only 2% increase. There was the usual blaming the past administration, with the Mayor sitting there observing as if he had never seen any financial data on the town when he was running his 2017 campaign – although the budget and all expenditures are available for anyone to read as they are Public Information.
After blaming everything on the previous mayor, we finally reached the point where Mr. Kazmark dropped his bomb. THE NEW BUDGET WILL CARRY A 4.75% INCREASE for the next years property taxes. The State mandate is that budget should NOT exceed a 2% increase to attempt to keep the property taxes at least more affordable. This did not deter Mr. Kazmark.
At no time did Mr. Kazmark or the Mayor say that if they reduced the number of employees by just one person per department this increase would not occur, there was never a mention that Townhall has more employees now than it ever has and most of those new employees are in the Mayor’s Office.
Mayor Soriano is a good Union man, he is a member of the electrical Trades union in New York City, and also a good democrat, that combination leads inevitably to what he has done in Parsippany. Add unneeded employees to the payrolls, make a promise to not reduce the number of employees in town, no matter how much of a tax increase we have to support those employees, and add to this his apparent desire to bring “Affordable Housing” to Parsippany and we see a man who ran of the slogan “BRING CHANGE TO PARSIPPANY”. The change will drive those people on fixed incomes right out of town.
I suggest to Mr. Kazmark that you go back to the drawing board and bring a REAL LIFE budget to the Town Council, because unlike your job the people of Parsippany VOTE for the people who sit on the Town Council as well as the mayor job. We saw in the last election a bad decision by the previous mayor regarding an unwanted shopping center on Route 46 and he is now employed somewhere else but NOT here in Parsippany, he was joined on the unemployment lines with two councilman who supported the shopping center. I hope that our Council Members, including the two new democrats will have the Hutzpah to tell the Mayor and Mr. Kazmark where they can put this very BAD BUDGET … People of Parsippany deserve a budget they can afford, not some pie in the sky nonsense.